Erratic weather just a sign of spring

Wet and windy weather one night, followed by blue skies the next morning - the pattern of the spring to come is emerging.

Niwa climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said the menacing nor'wester that lashed the capital on Saturday was typical of the season.

As warm tropical air hit the North Island and clashed with Antarctic winter currents in the South Island, the effect created the westerly winds that characterise spring.

After Saturday's howling gales, Wellingtonians woke to relatively settled, sunny conditions yesterday morning, but the bliss was shortlived.

By afternoon the heavy rain and gales had returned and hail fell in the Hutt Valley.

However, Niwa's seasonal outlook anticipates the intense westerlies will die down by late September or early October as spring "gets it out of its system", Ms Griffiths said.

MetService forecaster John Law said the erratic weather would continue through the week with strong, blustery winds and showers today heralding a southerly change tomorrow.

By Wednesday temperatures would drop to 8 degrees Celsius in Wellington and bring snow down to 300 metres on the Rimutakas.

Thursday would be cloudy but dry before northerly winds and rain returned on Friday, he said.

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